Communities wishing to produce their own Neighbourhood Plans were invited to a training event by the council last Thursday to find out more about the process.
Horsham District Council is encouraging parish councils to produce the plans, which will sit next to its Local Development Framework covering the whole district and inform future planning decisions.
With a Neighbourhood Plan in place, communities can inform planning decisions, while also controlling a portion of money for infrastructure improvements under the new Community Infrastructure Levy.
The event included presentations by Planning Aid England and Action in Rural Sussex, which highlighted the opportunities as well as the challenges of preparing a plan through a local case study in Slaugham.
There was also an open session where attendees were able to mingle at ‘discussion tables’ and talk about key topics.
Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater), HDC’s cabinet member for living and working communities, said: “I’m really pleased that so many representatives were able to attend and I hope that they found the event useful.
“Horsham District Council is keen to support Neighbourhood Plans as they give local communities a real say in their futures.”
For more information on Neighbourhood Plans, visit Horsham District Council’s website at www.horsham.gov.uk/environment/planning_policy/14807.aspx where there is information from the event for those interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Plan.